Flexible funding for insulation scheme   20 Nov 2009

PROPERTY -The government is making a key change to improve the delivery of its Warm Up New Zealand Heat Smart home insulation scheme.

The change sees the fund become a multi-year appropriation allowing flexibility to bring funding forward to meet demand. Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says he's delighted with the record number of homes already fitted with insulation and clean heating under the programme.

“Demand for the programme has been huge in the first four months. By allowing the scheme to become a multi-year appropriation a steady stream of funding will be on tap to keep the momentum rolling,” he said.

Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons is also welcoming the change. "We also strongly support the multi-year appropriation as continuity of funding is essential for continuity of jobs and businesses. It makes sense to improve as many homes as we can as fast as we can. We'll get back the money we spend through better use of energy resources and better health for the New Zealanders who live in these homes," she said.

The latest set of figures show 5,720 homes were retrofitted in October. It means that 19,759 homes have been retrofitted in the first four months of the scheme.

“While the scheme’s popularity is encouraging it was going to achieve the first year target of 27,000 homes in just over six months,” said Mr Brownlee.

“It is credit to the industry and EECA to be able to deliver this result in such a short space of time. It has also made it necessary to change the scheme’s funding to a multi-year appropriation,” he said.

Mr Brownlee says the October figures also show the trend continuing for a considerable number of these retrofitted homes occupied by low income earners.

“This is a positive trend. The scheme is reaching those most in need, and the least able make the changes themselves,” he said.

The number of retrofitted homes for the low income is also welcomed by the Green Party.

"Great ideas get great results," said Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"The Green Party is delighted that two thirds of the homes insulated so far are low income homes who could never have afforded it otherwise. Many of them are rental homes, and I'd like to congratulate the landlords who have taken up the scheme to improve living conditions for their tenants,” she said.

HOUSE SUMMARY - 09/10 / JUL / AUG / SEP / OCT / TOTAL

Low Income - Owner Occupied / 1635 / 2408 / 3210 / 3082 / 10335

Low Income - Rental / 348 / 367 / 576 / 974 / 2265

General Income - Owner Occupied / 1179 / 1951 / 1913 / 1485 /6528

General Income - Rental / 120 / 163 / 169 / 179 / 631

TOTAL HOUSES RETROFITTED / 3282 / 4889 / 5868 / 5720 / 19759

/ July / August / September / October /

Insulation and heater / 255 / 601 / 579 / 827 /

Insulation only / 2,519 / 3,664 / 4,580 / 4,390 /

Heater only / 508 / 624 / 709 / 503 /

TOTAL / 3,282 / 4,889 / 5,868 / 5,720 /

Source: NZ Government

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